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Recap / Hercules The Legendary Journeys S 4 E 9 If I Had A Hammer

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Written by Paul Robert Coyle
Directed by Steve Polivka

Salmoneus is organizing a fair for artists and wants Hercules to pose for them. Hercules is not too into it at first, but Salmoneus convinces him by saying that he'll be doing charity for orphaned children. Sal eventually gets Herc to pose nude. Atalanta shows up fully dressed with a guy named Kirteas. She's trying to change her looks so men would not see her as "one of the guys". Kirteas gets picked on by some dirty people (blacksmiths put out of work by Atalanta). The clan then confronts Hercules and a fight breaks out. Atalanta gets her dress ripped and her skimpy outfit reappears. Then, she starts kicking booty. Kirteas gets scared of her muscles and runs away.

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Hercules poses for the artists wearing nothing but...grapes. Atlanta decides to make her own 'man' and he ends up looking like Hercules. She likes her newly made Hercules because he can't hurt her or make her cry. Some of the unemployed blacksmiths from the previous fight come by and try to kill Atalanta. The statue of Hephaestus brings the statue of Hercules to life and the unemployed smiths run away. Atalanta notices that he's not the smartest thing on two legs (eats hay and plays with eggs). She then leaves to deal with something. Discord shows up and opens the door so that he can leave.

Real!Hercules, Sal, and a little girl try to choose a winner for the art fair, but they are all kind of ugly. Both Hercs do some good deeds. (In Statue!Herc's case, he tries to.) Statue!Herc comes by and thinks all the art pieces are nice, but Discord changes his mind. He then destroys all the art pieces.

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The two Hercs bump into each other. Atalanta comes by and explains the situation. She takes Statue!Herc home. Salmoneus notices the two Hercs and freaks out.

Atalanta and Statue!Herc (with some help from Discord) have a 'romantic' dinner. Even with Discord's coaching, Statue!Herc ruins it and Atalanta sends him to the barn. While in the barn, Discord gets Statue!Herc to leave and beat up some of the unemployed blacksmiths. He breaks the neck of one of them. He then gets mad because Atalanta is treating him like a child. Real!Hercules shows up and Discord throws a rake at him before leaving.

Statue!Herc tries to kill Salmoneus, but Real!Hercules saves him. A mob comes by ready to kill Statue!Herc, but he takes Atalanta and goes back to the barn. Discord nukes the statue of Hephaestus and Real!Hercules comes by to fight Statue!Herc. Real!Hercules then kicks Statue!Herc onto the fire. Discord makes the ceiling collapse on Atalanta then leaves. Statue!Herc (now in his metallic form) lifts up the ceiling and sacrifices himself, allowing Hercules and Atalanta to escape.

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Salmoneus gives Atalanta a new dress, but she doesn't want it. The little girl comes by and gives Hercules an art piece which she painted herself. Hercules then declares the little girl's piece the winner.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Iolaus never appears in the three episodes that feature Atalanta, but this time, the trope qualifies because Michael Hurst got a Promotion to Opening Titles since her last appearance.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Atalanta decided to let go of her feelings for Hercules. No word on Salmoneus giving up on Atalanta, though.
  • Amazon Chaser: Salmoneus
  • An Aesop: Be Yourself, or you'll never be truly happy.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Statue!Herc coming to life wasn't so bad, until Discord came along...
  • Call-Back:
    • This isn't the first time where Salmoneous was smitten by Atalanta and a character was deceived by Atalanta's Clark Kent Outfit ("Let The Games Begin").
    • Atalanta had been smitten by Hercules ever since "Ares". However, unlike the previous two episodes, Atalanta doesn't flirt with Herc in this episode.
    • Like in "Ares", her profession as a blacksmith contributes to the episode's plot.
  • Cloning Blues: Statue!Herc knows he's a statue and doesn't initially have a problem with that. It's only when he's considered inferior to the genuine article and not real that he starts to lose it.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Though Hephaestus gets the plot moving by bringing the statue to life, he is otherwise not involved. Discord suggests that he is too distracted by Aphrodite to notice what's happening.
  • Frame-Up: Discord's plan is for Statue!Herc to cause trouble that'll get blamed on the real Herc.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: A bunch of grapes does this for Herc as he models for Sal.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Statue!Herc helps the real Hercules save Atalanta from a collapsing building but is destroyed in the process.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Salmoneus insists that everything at this art contest is imaginative and completely original. Then he sees that Xerox completely copied Davincium's work.
  • Just Friends: Bitterly lampshaded by Atalanta:
    Herc: "He just wasn't the right one for you."
    Atalanta: "Oh? And who is?" (Salmoneus raises his hand with an "ur hum"...) "Not you huh, Hercules?" (turns to leave)
    Herc (grabbing her arm): "Atalanta..."
    Atalanta: "I know! Don't say it: 'We'll always be friends.'"
  • Living Statue: Statue!Herc
  • Manchild: Statue!Herc
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sal tried to monetize this by asking Atalanta to pose for the verse's equivalent of a centrefold for a man's magazine ("men's gentlemen's quarterly scroll").
  • Muscle Angst: Atalanta has the "Too Much Muscle" version. This episode is the first and only time she's bothered by it.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Both human-human and god-god examples.
    • Atalanta's charity smithing puts the local blacksmiths out of business, and leads to the first fight of the episode.
    • Hephaestus' bringing Statue!Herc to life gets hijacked by Discord.
  • Pet the Dog: Hephaestus doing this for Atalanta gets the ball rolling.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: The artist Xerox keeps copying other people's work, much to the irritation of Salmoneus.
  • Public Exposure: Herc poses nude for art and charity.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Troll: Discord (as usual)
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Atalanta forced the local blacksmiths out of work, which led to the first fight and her boyfriend dumping her. Then, she made a metal statue of Hercules...
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Discord immediately makes use of a living statue that resembles her least favorite relative.
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